by Colin A. Ross, M.D. Lately, it seems that not a day passes without the media proclaiming yet another sensational breakthrough in the search for the physical origins of mental illness. But beyond all the fanfare and media hype, is there a single shred of hard, empirical evidence to substantiate the existence of "a gene for alcoholism," or "the brain chemistry behind Schizophrenia"? More to the point, in fact, is it scientifically sound to limit the search for the roots of mental illness to processes occurring within the body, while dismissing socioeconomic, familial, and experiental influences as a best, mere "triggering mechanism"? And, if not, what harm is being done by psychiatry's current obsession with these somatic chimeras? This ground breaking book offers answers to those questions and more. While Dr. Ross and Professor Pam clearly assert from the outset that biological psychiatry "is dominated by a reductionist ideology which distorts and misrepresents much of its research," this is by no means a raw polemic voiced by an overzealous opposition. Instead, it is a reasoned discourse based on a clear-sighted and methodical examination of the professional literature. Contributors to this volume include distinguished researchers and clinicians from the fields of psychiatry, psychology, sociology, and psychopharmacology.. Their common purpose in coming together was to alert the mental health community to the ideological blind spots and conceptual errors in the basic logic and methodology of biological psychiatry, to demonstrate the need for a more scientifically based psychiatric practice, and to suggest alternative approaches to understanding and treating mental illness. Readers will find their arguments stimulating, provocative, and highly persuasive. Among the cutting-edge issues they explore are: the historical origins of biological psychiatry genetics and mental illness the current state of psychiatric training psychopharmacology and drug therapy the public health, legal, and ethical implications of biological psychiatry and the funding, power, and politics of research. This book is essential reading for all mental health professionals. It also has many important things to say to health care administrators, political analysts, and public policy makers. Copyright 1997 by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. This material has been reprinted by permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. ISDN: 0471-13265-9. 294 pages. May be ordered directly from publisher by calling 1-800-CALL WILEY or ordered online through Amazon.